Thursday, 10 March 2011

Restaurant Review: The Palace by Luke Mangan

Location: 505 City Rd, South Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9699 6410
Cuisine: Modern Australian
Overall Impression:6/10 Gastropubs have been popping up like mushrooms in the Melbourne cullinary scene. It is no wonder, celebrity chef, Luke Mangan has decided to extend his empire to include this niche offering. J and I decided to have a lazy lunch at The Palace because we love the idea of simple pub fare executed with perfection. A quick glance through the menu would automatically suggest an offering of dishes that are in every sense a portmanteau of gastronomy and pub, with complex gourmet meals served alongside traditional comfort foods at a single table.
As soon as you enter The Palace, there is no mistaking Luke Mangan's hand in the establishment. Products bearing his name surround the dining area. It screamed of narcissism which slightly detracted from the dining experience.
It was nice to be able to see the hustle and bustle of the kitchen through the glass window.Our meal started with warm crusty bread, fresh from the oven, extra virgin olive oil and dukkah. The bread was nice and toasty and the olive oil was very good.
Roasted Skate Wing, cherry tomatoes , caper berries, preserved lemon, baby spinach, burnt butter sauce.
The Skate Wing was perfectly cooked. The cherry tomatoes, caper berries and preserved lemon brought a nice acidity to the dish and the baby spinach was wilted, buttery and soft. The burnt butter sauce really brought the whole dish together. Perfectly salty with a hint of caramelisation. Great flavour combinations.
Braised chicken leg, ragout of chickpeas, pancetta, Parisian potatoes, mushrooms, peas and taragon. The chicken leg was tender and juicy. The tarragon (such a beauriful herb with, a flavour similar to anise), really gave this dish a very wholesome feel. Everything tasted so rich and comforting on the plate.
Strawberry Eaton mess with baby mint
Eton mess or Eaton mess, traditionally an English dessert consisting of a mixture of strawberries, pieces of meringue and cream. At The Palace, it was no differrent…apart from the baby mint which freshened up this classic dessert. The level of sweetness was on the money. Very enjoyable.
Bitter chocolate tart, mascarpone cream and orange compote
This tart was beautiful. The crust was so buttery and crumbly, it literally melted in my mouth. The chocolate was rich and dark. The mascarpone cream was just the right consistency and went perfectly with the bitterness of the chocolate. The orange compote gave this rich dessert a pleasant twang. A highly recommended dessert.
Overall, a very pleasant lunch that met all our expectations.
The Palace on Urbanspoon

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